“We are here to connect people that want to do good business and be good stewards of the land.” – Mike Leago, founder of iHEMPX.
Mike Leago founded the International Hemp Exchange after realizing a need for more connectivity and support throughout the hemp supply chain. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the need for reliable partners quickly became evident. His goal was to partner with companies who align with iHEMPx values and mutually stimulate an atmosphere of responsibility, efficacy, and expansion.
The Beginning of a Partnership
In 2016, iHEMPX became the first licensed bonded hemp broker in the United States. The volume of business was overwhelming, and it became immediately apparent that nearly all the farmers buying from iHEMPX wanted feminized seeds. After working with many other seed genetic suppliers, which resulted in some unsatisfactory experiences, one strain prevailed over all the rest. Mike and his team at iHEMPX had frequently sourced seed genetics from HGH Seed Co., and every experience had been conclusively beneficial on all sides. Farmers began requesting seeds sourced from HGH because they knew iHEMPX was proximal and hoped they could get access to the product. The results showed that HGH had engineered a hemp seed with a hearty yield and maximum soil compatibility. The only problem they faced was a lack of seeds to meet the demand. It became clear there was only a certain allotment HGH could supply, so Leago had to find a solution.
Expansion and Identifying Market Entry
iHEMPX tried to source seeds from other suppliers but was unable to find a seed partner as reliable as HGH. Leago is dedicated to his ethic of providing seeds to farmers, and with other suppliers at times that meant poor quality seeds or coming out of his own pocket to follow through on certain overpriced orders. He began to see that it was imperative to get back into business with HGH, and after months of ideating, they came to an agreement for an exclusive partnership to sell seeds in the state of Oregon. Leago soon found the land necessary to partner on facilities to produce, market, and sell HGH’s genetics and seeds nationally and internationally. iHEMPX would help field inquiries and promote HGH’s seeds, expanding the product that had gained wide acclaim.
HGH Seed Inc. has been devoted to the resurgence of hemp in the US over the last decade, and in 2011 the founding members began studying hemp genetics and growing the plant in Florida. Soon after, HGH’s founder Bodhi Urban played an integral role in starting America’s first Hemp Certified Farm in 2014, he began to see the need for fully certified lab-tested feminized seeds to guarantee farmers’ yields and profits. The 2018 Farm Bill split open the burgeoning market for hemp seeds, and HGH was well-established to provide. HGH has created many of the most popular strains of hemp, including Cherry Wine, Berry Blossom, and Trophy Wife. Since partnering with iHEMPX and moving to Oregon, HGH continues to be the leading innovator and supplier of hemp seed genetics in the US.
The Future of iHEMPX and HGH
With a state-of-the-art facility that offers 1 million square feet of greenhouse production space, iHEMPX and HGH will continue to elevate the quality of hemp genetics. IHE is growing 400 acres of their own genetics, as well as providing 50 cell trays of rooted HGH seeds to Oregon and surrounding markets. Together, they are already setting new standards for the 2019 season with strains such as Merlot and Red Bordeaux. The 2018 Farm Bill is breaking open new legislation on the growing of hemp, and as local and state governments continue to promote the environmentally regenerative and economically viable crop, iHEMPX and HGH will be at the forefront of the market.